M's caravan back in town Friday

By Jeff Morrow, Tri-City Herald sports editorJanuary 12, 2012 

Notes from here and there as I recover from the cold I caught in Las Vegas:

Here come the Mariners

The Seattle Mariners 2012 Caravan kicked off this week, and it'll be in Walla Walla today and Pasco on Friday.

Mariners pitchers Blake Beavan and Tom Wilhelmsen will be joined by Dave Valle, a former M's catcher and current broadcaster, as well as the Mariners Moose.

Beavan made his major-league debut July 3. He made 15 starts last season, going 5-6 with a 4.27 ERA over 97 innings pitched.

Wilhelmsen, a reliever, appeared in 25 games last season for the M's, having a 3.31 ERA in 32 2/3 innings pitched.

The group appears from 4:30 to 6 p.m. today at Whitman College's Sherwood Center, then it appears from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. at the Gjerde Center on the Columbia Basin College campus on Friday.

New class enters Hanford High'S hall of fame

Hanford High School will honor its sixth sports hall of fame class this Saturday night between the boys and girls basketball games as the Falcons entertain Pasco.

This year's class consists of track star Dan Colleran (1990 graduate), all-around athlete Ron Everham (1975), football standout Brad Gailey (1997), football and basketball star Luke Gailey (2000), football player Jared Hughes (2000), track standouts Kurt Kraemer (1998) and Darin Ladd (1992), cross-country runner Sheila Larkin (1995), current major leaguer Jason Repko (1999), wrestlers Michael Schweigel (2000) and Jon Shipman (1986), trackster Steve Skinner (1975), football player Justin Stoker (2000), cross-country and track star Adam Tenforde (1999), coach Lindsey Tucker (1980-2007) and girls basketball standout Yvonne Volkman (1997).

Also to be honored will be three state championship teams -- 1987 baseball, 1989 girls soccer and 1995 girls golf.

The ceremony is scheduled to happen at 7 p.m. between the girls and boys game, and a reception will be held in the foyer following the boys game.

CBC basketball

How about those Columbia Basin College Hawks? The women's basketball team, ranked most of last season at No. 1 in the coaches' poll, is No. 1 again this season after a 14-1 start.

CBC women's coach Cheryl Holden has loaded up again with a great mix of incoming freshmen to go with some experienced sophomores, including four who started at one time or another last season -- Tiffany Idler, Lacey Young, Ana Jimenez and Andrea Bland.

The CBC men, coached by Rolando Garcia, are 5-7 out of the gate. But the Hawks did get East Region play off to a great start last Saturday, defeating high-powered Walla Walla 66-51 on the road.

Both the Hawks' men's and women's team finally open East Region play at home this Saturday against Blue Mountain. Women tip off at 2 p.m., while the men start at 4 p.m.

Best basketball team?

We inadvertently mentioned in a story last weekend that the last boys basketball team from Richland High School to win a state championship was Frank Teverbaugh's 1972 squad.

That's not true and I know it. I missed it while quickly editing the story under deadline pressure.

Phil Neill's 1979 version of the Bombers last won a boys state basketball title for Richland, and I still say to this day it's the best basketball team to come out of this area.

I can still name their starting five -- Brian Kellerman, Mark Hoke, Bob Kennedy, Dennis Soldat and Steve Chalcraft.

I know this because I was a senior at Kamiakin and had to play against these guys twice -- which was more than enough for me.

Kellerman, Hoke, Kennedy and Soldat were at least 6-foot-4 or taller, and Chalcraft quarterbacked the offense.

I still remember a conversation I had with Kellerman right before tipoff at Art Dawald gym that year as if it happened yesterday.

Kellerman: "Hi, Jeff, how are you?"

Me (all 5-foot-10 of me): "Fine, Brian. How are you?"

Kellerman: "Good -- are you covering me tonight?"

Me (sheepishly): "Yes."

Kellerman: "Hey Soldat, I'm posting low."

I don't remember the score. I don't want to remember the score. It was bad, I know that.

I never saw the 1960s Bombers teams, or the standout squads from the late 1950s. But I have got to believe there couldn't have been a team better than Neill's 1978-79 team.

The thing that warms my heart is that the Bombers beat Pasco in the state title game that year in KeyArena (or whatever it was called back then). It was the only year that two east side teams played for the state title.

And we did beat Pasco during the regular season.

I still remember Frank Murray, calling the game for KONA, saying at the beginning of the broadcast that he thought he had died and gone to heaven.

A lot of Tri-Citians felt the same way.

Early warning

The 19th annual Tri-Cities Sportsman Show is set for TRAC in Pasco on Jan. 20-22. I'm not much of an outdoorsman, but I enjoyed the show last year. There is something for everybody. General admission is $8 for adults, and $4 for kids ages 6-12. Children under 6 are admitted free. ... Columbia Basin College has its Follow Your Dreams banquet and hall of fame induction ceremony set for Jan. 26 at the Gjerde Center. Former NFL player Mark Kafentzis and ex-major leaguer and coach Dave McKay will be inducted. Contact CBC at 547-0511 for ticket info. ... The annual Seattle Golf and Travel Show is set for Feb. 10-12 at the CenturyLink Field Events Center. It's the best way to get the golf season started.

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